Kakarakaya Karam Podi (Spicy Bitter Gourd Powder)

South Indian Bitter gourd spicy powder is prepared with bitter gourd, dry coconut and red chilli powder. Perfect mix of Sweet, sour, spicy and bitter taste makes it  ideal for sprinkling on any roll, bread or to serve as a side dish. It goes well with steamed rice and ghee. Sprinkle some bitter gourd powder on any vegetable salad for that instant crunch and taste.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8 servingsIMG_6192


  1. Bitter gourd: 3 medium sized
  2. Onion: 2 medium sized
  3. Oil: 2 tablespoon
  4. Dry coconut : 1 small piece or 1/4 cup dessicated coconut powder
  5. Roasted chana dal/ Chutney dal: ½  cup
  6. Jaggery/ sugar: 3 tablespoon
  7. Salt: 1 teaspoon (according to taste)
  8. Dry Red chilli: 4 to 5 or  1 teaspoon red chilli powder(according to taste)
  9. Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon
  10. Coriander seeds: 1 teaspoon
  11. Garlic: 4 to 5 cloves
  12. Curry leaves: 10 to 12 leaves
  13. Tamarind: a small lemon sizedIMG_6224


  1. Dry roast curry leaves till crispy and dry. Transfer to a bowl and keep aside.
  2. In the same pan dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds and red chilli  till nice aroma comes. Switch off the flame and add allow to cool completely.IMG_6229
  3. Add dry roasted curry leaves, 4 to 5 garlic cloves,cumin seeds,coriander seeds, red chillies and tamarind, coconut and roasted chana dal. Grind to a fine powder and keep ready.(This is our spice powder to be mixed with fried bitter gourd).IMG_6236
  4. Peel  bitter gourd and sprinkle some salt and keep aside for 5 to 10 minutes.IMG_6008
  5. Cut into pieces.IMG_6187
  6. Grind coarsely.Do not grind to a fine paste. If you want you can use very finely chopped bitter gourd pieces.IMG_6188
  7. Squeeze gently to remove excess water.IMG_6190
  8. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan and fry sliced onion to golden brown. Transfer brown onion to a bowl and keep aside( if brown onions are available you can use them).IMG_6239
  9. Add 1 tablespoon of oil in the same pan and add squeezed bitter gourd and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.IMG_6199
  10. Fry  bitter gourd till golden brown.IMG_6200
  11. Add jaggery  and fry till jaggery melts and coated to  fried bitter gourd evenly.IMG_6205
  12. Add fried onion and turmeric and mix well. Switch off the flame and allow to cool completely.IMG_6240
  13. Add prepared spice powder and mix well.IMG_6248
  14. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve as a side dish or sprinkle on any roll or on sandwich for additional taste. Bitter gourd powder can be stored in a glass jar and served up to a week. It can be stored in refrigerator for longer period.IMG_6261


1/4 cup Roasted groundnuts and sesame seeds  powder can also be added to this powder for additional taste.


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